Dance History - Denishawn
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Known as the First Lady of the American dance world
Ruth St. Denis
What did Ruth St. Denis see that inspired her?
She saw an Egyptian cigarette poster of goddess Isis
Who influenced Ruth St. Denis?
Fuller (colorful theatricality w/ stage lights and veils for costumes)
Duncan (spiritual quality and emotional force)
Ruth St. Denis created many other exotic dances:
- The Incense
- The Cobras
- The Nautch Dance
- The Yogi and O-Mika (based on Japanese drama)
To whom did Ruth St. Denis got married?
St.Denis married her student Ted Shawn
Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis formed
They formed Denishawn School of Dance in LA
Who was the first male dancer to achieve a high level of recognition and technique in modern dance?
In1930 Ted Shawn forms his own school and touring company of male dancers called
“Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers” the first all-male dance company in the US
Shawn demonstrates that men have an important place in modern dance
In 1931 Shawn acquired a farm in Lee, MA and converted the property to a theater. What is the name of this theater?
What are the influence of Ruth St. Denis?
- 1. Great theatrical appeal
- 2. Brilliant use of color, light, scenery and exotic costuming
- 3. Inclusion of religious themes and mysticism
- 4. Movements based on dances of Eastern cultures (not authentically traditional)
- 5. Provided exotic styles of dance other than ballet
What are the influences of Ted Shawn?
1. Obtained recognition for dancing as a worthy art for men (in the U.S. on concert stages and in colleges and universities)
2. Focused on the need to develop male dancers
- 3. Developed a respect for comprehensive technical training in dance
- Developed dances with American themes/characters
4. Created Jacob’s Pillow Dance School and Festival
What was the influence of Denishawn?
1. Brought recognition of the American dance as an independent art form
2. Created new audience for dance among middle-class theater-goers
3. Provided a training ground for the great modern dancers of the 20th century
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